Village (United States)

Village (United States)

In the United States, a village is a term, sometimes informal, for a type of administrative division at the local government level. Since the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution makes local government for the most part a matter for the states rather than the federal government, the states are free to have political subdivisions called "villages," or not to do so, and to define the word in many different ways. Typically, a village is a type of municipality, although it can also be a special district or an unincorporated area. It may or may not be recognized for governmental purposes.

Informal usage

Village is sometimes informally used to refer to a relatively small unincorporated community, similar to a hamlet in New York state, or even to a relatively small community within an incorporated city or town. This informal usage may be found even in states that have villages as an incorporated municipality and is similar to the usage of the term "unincorporated town" in states having town governments.

Formal usage

States that formally recognize villages vary widely in the definition of the term. [ [ 2002 Census of Governments, Individual State Descriptions] (PDF)] Most commonly, a village is either a special district or a municipality. As municipalities, a village may
#differ from a city or town in terms of population;
#differ from a city in terms of dependence on a township; or
#be virtually equivalent to a city or town.


While municipalities in Alaska are not called villages, Alaska native villages are recognized under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.

Although not officially called villages, the natives and other Alaska residents refer to most small towns as villages.


In connecticut, a village is an unincorporated community, most of the time rural. Fairfield County, Connecticut has a very large number of unincorporated villages.


Municipalities in Delaware are called cities, towns, or villages. There are no differences among them that would affect their classification for census purposes.


Municipalities in Florida are called cities, towns, or villages. They are not differentiated for census purposes.


All municipalites in Idaho are called cities, although the terms "town" and "village" are sometimes used in statutes.


Municipalities in Illinois are called cities, towns, or villages. There are no differences among them that would affect their classification for census purposes; however, villages are governed by a board of trustees and village president rather than a city council and mayor. The minimum population requirement for incorporation as a city is 2,500; for villages, it depends on various factors including the population of the county.


A village in Louisiana is a municipality having a population of 1,000 or fewer.


In Maine, village corporations or village improvement corporations are special districts established in towns for limited purposes.


In Maryland, a locality designated "Village of ..." may be either an incorporated town or a special tax district. An example of the latter is the Village of Friendship Heights.


In Michigan, villages differ from cities in that whereas villages remain part of the townships in which they are formed, cities are not part of townships.


Villages that existed in Minnesota as of January 1, 1974, became statutory cities, as opposed to charter cities. Cities may or may not exist within township areas. [ [ Minnesota Statutes 412.016] ]


A village in Mississippi is a municipality of 100 to 299 inhabitants. They may no longer be created.


The municipalities of Missouri are cities, towns, and villages. Unlike cities and towns, villages have no minimum population requirement.


In Nebraska, a village is a municipality of 100 through 800 inhabitants, whereas a city must have at least 800 inhabitants. All villages, but only some cities, are within township areas. A city of the second class (800-4,999 inhabitants) may elect to revert to village status.

New Hampshire

In New Hampshire, a village district or precinct may be organized within a town. Such a village district or precinct is a special district with limited powers. The New Hampshire Association of Village Districts has a website at

New Jersey

A village in the context of New Jersey local government, refers to one of five types and one of eleven forms of municipal government. Villages, like other municipalities, are not part of a township.

New Mexico

The municipalities in New Mexico are cities, towns, and villages. There are no differences among them that would affect their classification for census purposes.

New York

In New York State, a village is an incorporated area that differs from a city in that while a village is within one or more towns, a city is not. Villages have less autonomy than cities.

A village is usually, but not always, within a single town. A village is a clearly defined municipality that provides the services closest to the residents, such as garbage collection, street and highway maintenance, street lighting and building codes. Some villages provide their own police and other optional services. Those municipal services not provided by the village are provided by the town or towns containing the village. As of the 2000 census, there are 553 villages in New York.

There is no limit to the population of a village in New York; Hempstead, the largest village in the state, has 55,000 residents, making it more populous than some of the state's cities. However, villages in the state may not exceed five square miles (13 km²) in area.

North Carolina

The municipalities in North Carolina are cities, towns, and villages. There are no differences among them that would affect their classification for census purposes.


In Ohio, a village is an incorporated municipality with fewer than 5,000 inhabitants. [ cite web|url= |title=Ohio Revised Code Section 703.01(A) |accessdate=2007-09-12 ] The minimum population for incorporation as a village is 1,600 inhabitants, but this was not always the case, resulting in many very small villages. [ cite web|url= |title=Ohio Revised Code Section 707.02(C) |accessdate=2007-09-12 ] If a village grows to 5,000 residents, it is automatically designated as a city. Cities or villages may be within township areas; however, if a city or village becomes coterminous with a township, the township ceases to exist as a separate government. [ cite web|url= |title=Ohio Revised Code Section 703.22 |accessdate=2007-09-12 ]


In Oklahoma, unincorporated communities are called villages and are not counted as governments.


In Oregon, one county — Clackamas County — permits the organization of unincorporated areas into villages and hamlets. The boards of such entities are advisory to the county. [ [ Quick Facts About Hamlets & Villages] (from the Web site of Clackamas County, Oregon)]


In Texas, villages may be Type B or Type C municipalities, but not Type A municipalities. The types differ in terms of population and in terms of the forms of government that they may adopt.


In Vermont, while cities are outside of town areas, villages are incorporated municipalities within such areas.

West Virginia

In West Virginia, towns and villages are Class IV municipalities, i.e., having 2,000 or fewer inhabitants.


In Wisconsin, cities and villages are both outside the area of any town. Cities and villages differ in terms of the population and population density required for incorporation.


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